23rd May 2011

Air Travel Disruption - Know Your Rights

As of today’s date (23 May), the current volcanic eruption in Iceland looks like it will cause significantly less disruption to UK and European air travel than last year – however, with unsettled weather patterns across Northern Ireland and the UK, this could change at short notice.

Andy McClenaghan of the Consumer Council said: “Although disruption on the scale of last year’s ash cloud crisis is not currently expected, it is important that passengers are aware of their rights before they travel.  The Consumer Council’s Plane Facts guide to air travel provides information on your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled. 

Continuing, Andy McClenaghan said:  “It is essential that airlines learn from the issues that came to light during last year’s period of travel disruption and are prepared for flight delays and cancellations.  Airlines should ensure staff are available at airports to assist passengers during periods of disruption and should provide free phone numbers to enable passengers to request information about the status of their flight and reschedule their booking if their flight is cancelled”.

You can request a free copy of Plane Facts by contacting the Consumer Council on 0822 121 6022.  Plane Facts can also be downloaded from and an audio version is available for mp3 players.



  1. Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or 07825 147496 or e-mail,  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at